Donald Trump just finished having an extraordinarily bad week. His former lawyer named him as an unindicted co-conspirator. His campaign chairman was convicted of eight felonies. Two of his closest allies were given immunity deals against him. We knew Trump would come out swinging this week by trying to launch some kinds of distraction or phony accomplishment, in the hope of changing the narrative. He did indeed, and let’s just say that it went even worse than these things usually go for him.
Trump decided today that he would come out swinging by rolling out a new trade deal with Mexico. It was probably a sign when Trump tried to announce the deal while sitting at his desk in front of the television cameras, but he couldn’t figure out how to get the President of Mexico on speakerphone. Trump has only been sitting at that desk for a year and a half, and he still doesn’t know how the phone works, but that’s another matter. The real problem here is there is no new trade deal.
Trump kept insisting that he had terminated NAFTA and replaced it with a new trade deal between the United States and Mexico. However, the President of Mexico kept insisting that Canada was also going to be added to his new deal, which would mean it was just NAFTA all over again. As the farce went on, it became apparent that Trump is really just changing the name of NAFTA and changing around a few meaningless terms, so he can pretend he’s negotiated some fantastic new trade deal. No one anywhere seemed to be buying it.
So this was Donald Trump’s big plan for fending off the fact that everyone around him is getting arrested and convicted and selling him out to the Feds? This is just a mess, and makes him look like even more of a buffoon. Worse for Trump, the minute the next indictment or plea deal lands this week, his phony new trade deal will be forgotten by all involved – though the image of him not being able to operate his own phone will become the stuff of memes for quite some time.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report